Sunday, February 26, 2017

Carnaval Un Dia de Descansar - Carnival A Day Of Rest

February 25, 2017

Dear Mom and Dad and my amazing family (and friends)!

First Mom your costume is perfect! The picture sure made me smile! Thank you so much for putting our names in the temple and names of our investigators.  I could definitely feel those blessings and see them this week.

Elder Barazoto and I just returned from the Hipermaxi (the big Walmart of Bolivia), and it looked like Black Friday in there except it all was for Carnival.  I have asked around to try and figure out how the Bolivian people celebrate Carnival, and it turns out it is like the biggest water balloon, paint ball, mud fight in the world.  During this a lot of the people don't have work, and the streets are full of people having BBQs and paint and water fights and there's a lot of alcohol.  And for this reason we can't proselyte during Carnival, but in the worlds of President Rodriguez.... We are going to follow the example of the Nephite army and while the Lamanites are drunk, for three days, we will make up secret plans (in our houses) how we will defeat/convert them to the gospel.

During Carnival, we have time to study our scriptures, watch church movies (Elder Barazoto and are I going to watch The Best Two Years, 17 Miracles, and Zarahemla) and spend time resting and getting ready to overcome the Lamanites or convert them to the gospel when Carnival ends.

Here our some pictures of the plaza we visited with our district this last P day.  Dad you are going to love the arquitectura.
Our District at a Plaza de Bolivia

Also, we ate some Salteñas!  They are one of the most delicious unique things of Bolivia.  They are like an empanada but they have a soupy delicious, meaty filling inside with a cornbread outside.  Elder Barazoto loved it!  You are not in Bolivia until you have tried a Salteña!

The Delicious Salteña!
​I sure liked this violinist and was trying to get his facial expression down.

Dad! Do you remember in Florida, when we rode the bus for about 2 hours to get to our hotel? Here the buses are a little smaller but the rollercoaster, bumpy feeling is the same.  Here is our district in a micro heading to the plaza!
Riding the Micro
This week,  I bought ingredients so I can use your wonderful cookbook and make crepes, pancakes, and biscuits and gravy for Elder Barazoto durrante Carnival.  I am sure excited to have this extra time to study. Also, thank you for the birthday list mom!  I am sorry I missed Cameron´s birthday, but I will make sure I don´t miss the others.

One crazy thing that I have always wanted to do is grow! But I found out that I haven't grown height wise but in weight.  Yesterday I weighed myself and oh man I was a little surprised to find out that I had gained 25 pounds and right now I am about 155 pounds!  Sometimes in the day, it sure is hot and a little bit hard and sometimes I sure like to stop and buy some bread or some juice.  Or sometimes Hermana Rosemary´s food is so delicious I eat two plates.  But I was wondering if you had any tips to lose weight.

Also dad, Jason, and Cameron when the days were really long, what did you do to keep motivated on walking and talking.  In the mornings, I feel so full of the spirit after our studies, but by three or four, I get a little bit tired especially when our lessons fall through, and I was just wondering if you had any advice to keep working hard and also what is the balance of taking food breaks. :)

But this week, one miracle we had is that Familia Carasales got married today.  They both are members, and they didn't have the means to get married and so they started living together.  We taught them about the importance of temples and today they got married and are going to prepare for the temple.  Mom and dad I could feel your prayers and also the blessing of the temple this day!

This week, we were able also to visit Hermana Peña with Hermana Vargas.  Hermana Peña sure works hard and she has three different fairs that she sells clothing at.  We couldn't teach her because Hermano Peña was not home but we were able to break the ice a little bit more and become her friend.  I know that through faith and prayers and work, we are going to baptize this family!

Elder Barazoto is such amazing Elder.  He sure has helped me be more on time and also he can relate with me very well.  This week, during our companionship inventory he told me that I was a good trainer.  It is so rewarding to see him learn how to contact and how teach and in the process, I am so grateful to learn from his great example!

I love you so much mom and dad! Thank you for your prayers.  I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that as we have faith in Him, we obtain a firm hope and desire to become more like Him and that through this desire, we show our actions we seek to be obedient and repent and come closer to him and become more like Him.  Also, I know the Book of Mormon is true!  It is so amazing to be able to study this sacred book of scripture every day.  Right now I just read Moroni 7:20-21.  I learned that every good thing points to Christ and that in our decisions we can know if they are good if they are helping us love and follow our Savior Jesus Christ more.
I hope you have the best week mom and dad and also my wonderful family (and friends)!


Your Son,

Elder Matheson!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 2 With Elder Barazoto

February 20, 2017
Week 2 With Elder Barazoto
Dear Mom and Dad and my wonderful family and friends!

It is so amazing to hear Sarah is getting better.  That just makes me smile so mucho!  I sure loved the photo of you all in the Puppy Barn.  This week was just full of tender mercies as I received so many letters from Mr. Byers, the Christiansens, the Pattersons, Grandma and Grandpa Bourgeous, and Aunt Joyce.  They made me smile even bigger as I received many Merry Christmas wishes.  This month of February sure has been a 2nd Christmas in Bolivia.

The Rings Around Santa Cruz, Bolivia At Night
Area Fortaleza Where We Live Is In Ring 8
Also, Mom and Dad, area Fortaleza is in ring 8 where there are a lot more dirt roads! I will definitely look for Elder Perriton when we have our next zone conference.  Also, thank you for the package! Every letter and package makes a day just like Christmas!

As for some news in the mission, this coming Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday is Carnival, and for our safety we get to spend three days in our house with the exception of going to church on Sunday.  I am so excited to try some of those recipes you gave me mom!!

Also, since we will not have a P day this next week, Saturday in the afternoon we can write our families. This sure is a big blessing.   **Editor’s Note – So if you wish to email Elder Matheson this coming week, be sure to do so prior to Saturday, Feb. 25th.**

This week, Elder Barazoto adjusted to missionary life physically.  His stomach sure ached, and he had a pretty nasty headache this Friday.  I gave him a blessing and we also got some medicine for him, and he is doing better today!  It is so interesting to see many of the trials that I went through are the very same trials that Elder Barazoto had this week.  I sure was happy to be able to give some advice how to adjust to missionary life and become a better friend and companion.

Carnival Is Coming
This week, we had a miracle with the Peña familia.  We have been trying to find a friend for Hermana Peña, and this week we felt we should teach her with Hermana Vargas the Relief Society president.  We when got to the lesson, it turns out that Hermana Peña y Hermana Vargas attended the same hair cutting school a year back and are good friends.  Wow, what a miracle.  During the lesson, Hermana Peña was much more receptive.  Right now, though, she is not very interested in the gospel and does not what to be baptized, but I know that Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and that through prayer, faith, and more lessons with Hermana Vargas her heart can be changed and soften.  Hermano Peña is amazing and always attends church now and wants his family to attend.  If you would all pray that Hermana Peña can have a change of heart, I know we will have miracles. Our goal is to baptize this familia in March.

I know that Jesus Christ lives and He is our Savior. Also, that when we talk with our Heavenly Father in prayer and have faith that we will receive an answer to a question or help in our lives, we have a promise in Moroni 10:3-5 that the Lord will bless us with the truth we seek and also the help we need.  We sólo need to ask with real intent and with faith.  

Also, this week has sure been humbling as I learned that I am still a very new missionary and that I need the Lord´s help in everything to train a new missionary.

I love you so much our whole wonderful family and dear friends.  Thank you for your prayers, letters, and support.

Love you son,

Elder Matheson!

Plaza de Bolivia
Oh, we are also visiting Plaza de Bolivia today, and I might buy some really cool authentic wallets and clothing de Bolivia.

***If you wish to write Elder Matheson a letter here is his mission address.  He does love letters!!***

Elder Matthew Keith Matheson
Bolivia Santa Cruz Mission
Calle Independencia #610 Esq. Lemoine 
Zona Central
Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz

Monday, February 13, 2017

Blessings And Change

13 de Febrero de 2016

Dear Mom and Dad and my most wonderful family and friends,

This week has been so crazy and amazing.  Tuesday in the morning Elder Salas and I received a phone call from the assistants, and our hearts started pounding.  The whole morning we were so nervous and excited to see what would happen.  The assistants asked to talk to Elder Salas and said that he was being transferred to Tarija and that I would remain in our area and be a new trainer.   Wow! When I got the news my heart jumped just a little bit.

Elder Salas and Elder Matheson with Familia Coca Suares and Suares Suares eating hambugers​
All day Tuesday, we visited the converts and investigators that were very dear to us.  Many of the families were a little sad to have Elder Salas be transferred, and he was a little sad too but also excited to have a new area.  It was amazing to see the love Elder Salas has for the people of Bolivia, especially in this area.  

If there are three grand things I have learned from Elder Salas, they are:
1. Become friends and love the people, especially the children
2. Always be worthy to give a Priesthood blessing and always look for ways to serve and give blessings for this is why we have the Priesthood to bless others with the special blessings of Heaven.
3. Don´t be afraid to try new things.  One time in the Hypermaxi, I kept debating over which kind of chocolate to buy.  After 10 minutes of  paciencia, Elder Salas said, “Elder Matheson, if you don´t know if you like the food, then try it.”

I am so grateful that I could have Elder Salas as my trainer and companion.  He is an amazing missionary and will continue to bless the lives of those in Tarija.

As for my new companion that is straight out of the MTC, he is not from Ecuador, or Peru, or from Utah but....from Gilbert, Arizona where it is hace calor!  

My new companion, Elder Barazoto!
His name is Elder Barazoto, and he is such an amazing missionary.  He is 19 and likes to work hard and wants to be obedient and has loves food too, especially pancakes.  

During Thursday in the morning, all the new trainers had a special meeting with President Rodriguez where we learned that the Lord has called us to be a trainer.  This sure helped me know that the Lord knows me and knows that I can be a good trainer, even if I don´t have Spanish all the way under my belt.  President Rodríguez also taught us that our examples and how we train these new missionaries will determine the future of these missionaries and the mission.  Wow, what an awesome responsibility.

Right now I still get butterflies here and there but, I know that if I just rely on the Lord and be obedient that I will be a good trainer.

After this meeting, the new missionaries entered the room.  Presidente Rodriguez had the trainers introduce ourselves and then the new misioneros introduced themselves, and then one by one he called the new missionary's name and who his trainer would.

This week with Elder Barazoto, it has been awesome to have him as my companion, and he has so much of a desire to serve and work hard.  I know that Presidente Rodriguez was inspired by the Lord to have Elder Barazoto and I be companions.

I am so excited also that I get spend 3 more months in this area of Fortaleza, and I know Elder Barazoto and I can baptize many people that Elder Salas and I have been preparing for baptism.

One family that we taught this week is familia Carasales.  Julio is around 25 or 27 and he and his wife have one child, Santiago.  They are both baptized but they didn´t get married because the father of Julio´s wife is living in Spain and wanted to be here for the marriage but won´t return for another year.  

On Saturday, we talked to them about the importance of marriage and keeping their baptismal covenants. And that the sooner they were married the sooner they could receive the many blessing the Lord has for them and prepare to go to the temple.  They agreed to start on the marriage papers and their goal is to be married this month on Saturday the 25th.  If you would pray for them that they can get their papers all filled out this week that would be wonderful!

I know this is the Lord´s work and that He lives, and that He loves us so much. And the best way we can show our love for Him is by keeping his commandments.

I love you mom and dad and my whole wonderful family!
Love your son,

Elder Matheson

As for the ward activities here mom, every Tuesday, the jovenes or youth play futbol at the church and sometimes as missionaries we play with them in our proselyting clothes, but I am really careful to take good care of my clothes.
Soccer with the ward at the church
​Familia Escobar - we are going to baptize them!​

Monday, February 6, 2017

¡Feliz Navidad en Febrero!

 6 de Febrero de 2017

Dear Mom and Dad (Family & Friends)!  

I am so glad you liked the letter last week.  It was such a wonderful week, and I hoped that I could express all my feelings in my heart for you in simple words.  Sometimes I feel like Nephi and how he felt weak in writing his testimony in the Book of Mormon or for me in my letters, but that sure made me happy that the letter helped you and especially Sarah. 

Elder Salas eating all his candy in 20 minutes!
Thank also for the pictures mom and dad and for the Christmas Package!  I got the package this Thursday during our district meeting, and I was so excited to open it that night.  Elder Salas and I ate and loved the corn nuts, and the next day Elder Salas ate all the candy in his stocking in 20 minutes.  He loved it but then at lunch said he was a little sick to his stomach because he ate so much candy.  

I also made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He liked it a lot.  I loved it.  Thank you for the gifts and candy.  It sure was a tender mercy to have a taste of home.  Oh and the cookbook mom is amazing!   THANK YOU!  Wow, I can’t wait to use it to serve the Lord and my companion.  I looked through all of the coobook and it was so amazing to see how many different recipes from the family are there.  Just thinking about it makes me smile and reminds me of how blessed I am to have such a wonderful family.  

                    My Called To Serve Mission Cookbook and the Tim Tam Cookies (my favorite) from Mary and Jason!                          Elder Salas and I are going to do a Tim Tam slam tonight.

 Also, I received such inspiring letters from the Sevy family from Uncle Kent and Aunt Carol, Sean and Melissa. I want to give them a big thank you.  Sean and Melissa’s missions experiences in their letters sure gave me a desire to keep on serving!!

This Tuesday we find out about transfers.  Elder Salas is really excited and nervous.  He has been in la area de Forteleza for 9 months.  And he loves the people and our ward so much and doesn’t want to leave, but at the same time he wants to go to a new area.  I am so excited either way because if I remain in this area, I know we can baptize Hermano Peña in the next transfer, or if the Lord needs me in a new area I will faithfully go!!

One final picture with Adrian before transfers.  He is doing well and coming to church even though his family sometimes says harmful things about the church.
Hermano Peña is reading the Book of Mormon and he enjoys it. Yesterday when we went to visit them, Hermano Peña was faithfully reading the Book of Mormon and the chapter we gave him to read even though it was very hard for him to read because he needs a new prescription for his glasses and they make him dizzy. This sure made me so happy because the Book of Mormon is so key in our testimonios of this gospel for through the Book of Mormon we can know if Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and restored the Church of our Savior Jesus Christ.  Hermano Peña committed to continue to read the Book of Mormon with his whole family.  

This is Hermano Peña, his son Georgia, and his youngest son, Javier.
One thing that Hermano Peña needs before bautismo is to get married. They have lived together for 25 plus years and have a wonderful family but aren’t married.  Hermana Peña right now doesn’t want to get married, and if in your prayers you could include her in your prayers that her heart may be softened and that they can get married and be baptized.  I know the Lord loves this family, and I love them so much and I know the Lord can help this family have the means and desire to get married.

Mom and Dad! I love you so much, and I know that this church is true and Jesus Christ lives right now and he directs this church.  Also, I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that as we look for help or answers to our questions or simply need peace, as we read the Book of Mormon, we will receive these things.

I love you so much, and I promise to word really hard this week!

Love your son,

Elder Matheson

The Luna Familia is so wonderful and are the family who we live across from or we live in the extra part of their house.  Josua is their oldest son with Namami the oldest daughter and Janell the youngest daughter.  I sure love them.